God: a failed hypothesis or something more?


(GJDS) #141

I think this aspect of the argument is based on many statements by various atheists. The general approach as I read it, is to argue for scientific data and reasoning, but when it is noted that such an approach is inadequate, the response is, “It is not a scientific hypothesis”. Than they go again, wanting scientific evidence and insisting that such evidence proves there is no God. Some then refer to such as scientism; I simply state they are wrong in their reasoning.

An atheist may claim he/she has not been persuaded regarding God or gods, but that is where it ends.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #142

E = mc squared. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity says that matter/energy and time/space are interdependent. That means that when matter/energy was created, time/space was created. Or nothing, including time/space existed before matter/energy was created.

Therefore we could say that the Big Bang created the universe out of nothing, or ex nihilo, however the Big Bang is a mechanism, not an agent. The only Agent Who is in a position to create the universe out of nothing is YHWH/God, WHO IS.

Some non-believers have claimed that the Big Bang is not creation out of nothing, but their science is false.


(Marvin Adams) #143

creation is by definition to make a thing were there was no thing in existence before, as if “thing” would have existed it would not be a creation of said thing. Thus the material universe if created must have been created out of items that were not a material universe. Now from Einstein we know that matter and energy are interdependent, so it is conceivable that matter was created from energy in an ordered way as implied by Johns Gospel. However as God is eternal and time-space transcending, “nihilo” can not exist as God always existed thus creation ex nihilo would by definition need the absence of existence including God. If however you do not define “I am what I am”, e.g. the essence of existence as eternal you would have to find a way to explain how existence itself came into existence.

I would not call the big bang a mechanism but an event as you would not call the creation of the wheel a mechanism but an event.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #144

[quote=“marvin, post:143, topic:37310”]
However as God is eternal and time-space transcending, “nihilo” can not exist as God always existed thus creation ex nihilo would by definition need the absence of existence including God. [/quote]

@marvin

It seems you have things backwards. Because the Creation exists, God the Creator must exist. However, however if the Creation did not exist, that would not mean that God would not exist, although no humans would know this.

God is eternal. God is self existent. God is not created. The universe had a beginning and the universe was created. There are three kinds of creation, de novo or from the beginning, by alteration of existing materials, and ex nihilo, from nothing, which only God can do and humans co not understand.

All we can say is that God is much more than existence. God does not exist as the universe exists. God is beyond existence and gives the universe existence. God is the Lord and Source of the universe. God IS WHO GOD IS, so God can do whatever God chooses to do and God YHWH has choosen to create our universe.

God created the Singularity that caused the Big Bang ex nihilo, out of nothing, so it was the Singularity which was the mechanism and the Big Bang was the event. Thank you for that correction.


(Marvin Adams) #145

I can’t see the necessity for ex nihilo creation as God could have used the energy available to him to create our universe as with the eternal existence of God nothingness can not exist, only absence of the material / physical, but that is not nihilo unless you are a materialist. “ex nihilo nihil fit” would also claim that God’s existence violates the ex nihilo state himself.
The philosophical nihilo demands the absence of property and physical laws, and whilst the latter would we expected of a metaphysical being it would still be full of properties, such as the abundance of love, omniscience etc., and unlike the physical energy the energy of love is infinite.


(GJDS) #146

In your scheme, the transcendence of God has been removed - the question of nothingness is one for us, and yes, we normally consider it as an absence of all that we would understand (matter, energy, time, space).

The creation is not made up of God’s essence, and God transcends it all.


#147

Some atheists have made these types of arguments. I have made those arguments as well, although I am not that committed to them. One of the major differences in worldview, in my opinion, is faith. Atheists lack faith while theists embrace faith. I think Carl Sagan did a good job of describing the atheist view in his analogy “The Dragon in My Garage”.

Boiling the atheist position down to “scientism” misses the larger picture, IMHO. I would classify it more as skepticism with a foundation in independent evidence. We assume we are wrong until proven otherwise by the universe around us would be a crude description. Theists don’t take this skepticism to the same extremes and believe through faith where there is a lack of the type of evidence that atheists look for. Atheists have converted to theism, and theists have deconverted and become atheists, so I don’t think we should see this as some sort of battle between worldviews but a rough picture of where people are at in their lives.

The best we can do is describe our line of thought and reasoning in order to better understand one another. Luckily, western society has recognized that belief or the lack thereof is an important aspect of being human, and I truly think that the vast majority of atheists celebrate the fact that people are free to believe what they will and live their lives as they choose. One side doesn’t have to be right, but we should all of the right to live our lives as we see fit.


#148

What facts, if any, lead to this conclusion? Where are the facts that lead to the conclusion that the universe came from nothing?[quote=“Relates, post:142, topic:37310”]
Some non-believers have claimed that the Big Bang is not creation out of nothing, but their science is false.
[/quote]

To reiterate, based on what facts? I am sure that there are many scientists working on M theory and related theories who would like to know what these facts are.


(GJDS) #149

I also feel that the main criteria regarding ones outlook is a good conscience, and acting in good faith towards our fellow creatures. Having said that, I think the “dragon” analogy is extremely faulty and self-serving.

An analogy regarding the Christian faith would be more along these lines:

A man met some people (perhaps at a group therapy session) and he stated he had a “defining experience”, and if it was not for a selfless individual, he thought he would have lost his life. People asked him for details, and he provided some, but he focussed on the brave deed by the person who saved him, and described the risk and pain that person suffered while saving him. Some were sceptical and wanted details, including witness statements. Two others said they had heard something of the incident, but each gave slightly different accounts of the circumstances.

The response of the group was divided - some believed and praised the hero (without knowing who he was), while others would not believe, and needed proof of the account with independent evidence and verifiable data.

I am not saying those who believed the account were good and right, and the others wrong and evil - my analogy simply shows we as human beings can come to various conclusions when confronted with the same “description and data”, or accounts of human events and experiences.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #150

The fact that the universe came out of nothing is the Big Bang which explains how this happened. If you do not like my explanation do to some other source.


(Marvin Adams) #151

why is the transcendence of God removed if he used a bit of himself to create the universe? The primary cause of something per definition transcends all its effects if the universe is bound by logic and ordered, as in its beginning any point in the future is intrinsically a logical consequence of it.

How do you know that God could not have converted part of himself to create the universe? Do you have any revealed knowledge why this could not be the case


(Marvin Adams) #152

It’s as lame as the claim of Russell’s teapot, If that is what ones “skepticism” leads one to it only shows a lack of critical thinking in the light of ones religiophobia. Why should there be a dragon in your garage, e.g . what observations lead you to believe that there should be some invisible object in your garage and why should it possess the properties of a dragon. Arguments like comparing the philosophical hypothesis of a creator God with the the claim to have an invisible dragon in your garage are an embarrassment for any intellectual.


#153

You are leaving out some details. This person who saved you also lived 2,000 years ago, came back from the dead, and claimed to be the son of God. Those are some pretty extraordinary claims.


#154

It isn’t about me disliking or liking your explanation. I am interested in the facts, if any, that led you to the conclusion that the universe started from nothing. If this is an assumption, that’s fine. I am just trying to understand where you are coming from.


#155

Where is the lack in critical thinking? From what I have learned, the burden of proof is one of the important aspects of critical thinking.[quote=“marvin, post:152, topic:37310”]
Why should there be a dragon in your garage, e.g . what observations lead you to believe that there should be some invisible object in your garage and why should it possess the properties of a dragon. Arguments like comparing the philosophical hypothesis of a creator God with the the claim to have an invisible dragon in your garage are an embarrassment for any intellectual.
[/quote]

Why is it an embarrassment?


(GJDS) #156

Orthodox Christian theology


(GJDS) #157

You also refuse to admit that you (for an unknown reason, at least to me), refuse to acknowledge that you either are not persuaded (but continue to object), or otherwise you may have a “chip on your shoulder” regarding those of us who accept the testimony of the Apostles.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #158

@T_aquaticus

I am tired of playing games. You must realize by now that the Big Bang Theory says that the universe was created or came into existence out of nothing, ex nihilo. Before the Big Bang there was no matter, no energy, no time, and no space.

That is not an assumption. Those are scientific facts as best as we can determine them based on the evidence we have. So if you want to know where I am coming from, I am coming from the same facts which are behind the Big Bang Theory, chief of them being Einstein’s Theory. Do you have a problem with that? .


#159

Just as you are not persuaded by the testimony of Joseph Smith or Muhammad.

I don’t have a chip on my shoulder, by the way. Hopefully my posts and time spent here can help illustrate that. I grew up in the church, and I have nothing but fond memories of those times. I hold no grudges against Christianity or Christians. The vast majority of my family is still in the church, and I even have a brother who is a missionary who I am very proud of and continue to support. It’s not as if I don’t want to believe. I just don’t.


#160

I have studied the matter, and it says no such thing. The Big Bang theory only describes what happened to the universe once it was here. It doesn’t say where the universe came from. In fact, some scientists are working on derivatives of M theory which proposes that our universe came about through the interaction of membrane like dimensions.[quote=“Relates, post:158, topic:37310”]
That is not an assumption. Those are scientific facts as best as we can determine them based on the evidence we have. So if you want to know where I am coming from, I am coming from the same facts which are behind the Big Bang Theory, chief of them being Einstein’s Theory. Do you have a problem with that? .
[/quote]

I certainly have no problem with you, and I have always enjoyed our discussions. It just so happens that you are mistaken on this point. There are times when I am mistaken as well. It happens.